Around the Houses, May 2012

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Gooding and Company

Very often ‘star lots’ fail to sell. There’s sometimes too much hype surrounding the car in question and potential buyers are scared off with high estimates. Gooding didn’t suffer any such problems in Amelia Island on March 9. The 1973 Porsche 917 Can-Am Spyder, which we featured in last month’s magazine, set a new world record for a 917, an in fact for a Porsche, when it sold for £2.8 million.

The Drendel Family Collection of Porsches amassed more than £11.3m and 11 of the cars set new world records. The two-time Daytona 24 Hours winner — the 1984 Porsche 962 — sold for £1.2m, the development 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo went for £2.1m, the first 1976 Porsche 935/76 to be built sold for £1.6m and the 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution found a new home for £805,000. All of these were new world records for the respective models. The 1987 McLaren MP4/3 Formula 1 car also sold well, reaching £546,000 but the Le Mans 24 Hours class-winning 1975 Porsche 935 didn’t sell.

Other notable lots included a 1930 Bentley 4½-litre Tourer (£423,000), an ex-works 1967 Porsche 906E (£636,840) and the 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter coupé that Mike Hawthorn used for practicing the ’53 Mille Miglia route (£874,783).

RM Auctions

More than £14.6m worth of lots were sold at RM’s Amelia Island sale on March 10. The top seller of the day was the 1929 Cord L-29 Hayes Coupé that went for £1.5m.

The Canadian auction house also had a successful Milhous Collection sale on February 24/25, which raised a total of £24.4m. The most staggering statistic, though, was that 100 per cent of the 500 lots sold, which included cars, bikes, firearms, musical instruments and fairground carousels. There were also a couple of single-seaters in the sale: a 1984 March Cosworth 84C (£70,140) and a 1949 Snowberger-Offy roadster (£122,750).

More lots have been confirmed for RM’s Monaco sale on May 11/12 including the record-breaking Ferrari-powered hydroplane ARNO XI. The 1953 racing boat was built with help from the Italian manufacturer and set a water speed record of 241.70kph (150.19mph) on Lake Iseo in northern Italy in 1953. The record — for an 800kg boat — still stands today. Estimate is available on request.

There is also a very special Ferrari in the sale, which raced in two Mille Miglias and two Targa Florios in the hands of celebrated drivers such as Froilán Gonzalez, the Marzotto brothers and Umberto Maglioli. The 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa ‘Fontana’ (£900,000-1.5m) was campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari and later by Scuderia Marzotto, who rebodied it in Barchetta style by Carrozzeria Fontana in 1950. It’s the sixth Spyder Corsa built and will no doubt reach, and possibly exceed, its estimate.

Bonhams

RM Auctions wasn’t the only company to see all its lots sold. Bonhams managed the same feat at its Oxford sale of March 3, raising £1.29m. A 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 coupé barn find sold for £101,180, while a 1965 Jaguar E-type Series 1 4.2-litre roadster once owned by Sir Elton John went for £82,140.

The big news from Bonhams, though, is that it will sell the George Daniel collection of cars at the Festival of Speed sale on June 29. This includes one of the most famous British racing cars of all, the ‘Tim’ Birkin supercharged single-seater 4½-litre Bentley which set the Brooklands Outer Circuit Lap Record at over 137mph in 1931. Also included is the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 that Birkin drove with Earl Howe at that year’s Le Mans, and the 1908 Itala Grand Prix car which has so often figured in these pages. Expect high bids…

Silverstone Auctions

At its Race Retro sale on February 25 Silverstone Auctions sold a number of interesting racers including a 1963 Ford Anglia (£22,550), a 1987 MG Metro 6R4 (£46,200), a 1958 Tojeiro Jaguar (£286,000) and a recreation of the 1976 Porsche 934 Jägermeister car that includes “many original period parts” (£78,320).

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